Courtesy of NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Councilman Costa Constantinides joined the DEP at the Rain Barrel Giveaway Saturday, June 24.
By Angelica Acevedo

City Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) joined the city Department of Environmental Protection to distribute free rain barrels to about 100 homeowners in the Astoria, Jackson Heights, Woodside and East Elmhurst neighborhoods.

The event took place June 24 at Chappetto Square in Astoria as part of DEP’s Rain Barrel Giveaway Program, which may help lower homeowners’ water bills during the summer months, as well as reduce flooding in the city’s waterways.

“I was happy to see so many residents pick up rain barrels during our giveaway,” Constantinides said. “The continued enthusiasm for rain barrels shows that our community is dedicated to conserving water, forming sustainable habits and helping to reduce flooding.”

The 60-gallon barrels that were provided came with installation kits and instructions, but DEP assured residents that the barrels are easy to use. The barrels connect to a property owner’s downspout to capture and store the stormwater that falls on the rooftop. The water collected then can be used to irrigate lawns and gardens, among other outdoor tasks. Last year, DEP distributed a record-breaking 11,111 rain barrels to city homeowners.

“Harvesting the stormwater that falls on your home’s roof eases the pressure placed on the city’s sewer infrastructure during rain events, which helps to reduce street flooding and improve the health of Flushing Bay and the East River,” DEP Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said. “I’d like to thank Council member Constantinides for his partnership with this giveaway event.”

The program is part of the city’s Green Infrastructure Plan that aims to capture stormwater before it can even enter the sewer system, thereby reducing combined sewer overflows into local waterways. DEP is committed to investing $2.4 billion into green infrastructure projects and other source controls to significantly reduce combined sewer overflows by 2030.

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